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Wrong to see Jesus as a political revolutionary, Pope says

Catholic World News - March 12, 2012

Any portrait of Jesus as a political revolutionary is inaccurate, Pope Benedict XVI told his Sunday public audience on March 11.

Reflecting on the cleansing of the Temple, recounted in the day’s Gospel reading, the Pope said that some readers interpret it as a “political-revolutionary gesture.” But that interpretation is wrong, he said. The Pontiff pointed out that when Jesus drove out the money-changers, “it did not cause any reaction from the guardians of public order, because it was seen as a typically prophetical act.”

At the time of Christ, many Jews were hoping that the Messiah would bring political deliverance, and the Zealots had assembled a movement working for political change, ready to use violence as necessary. But Jesus disappointed their hopes. Pope Benedict said:

The truth is that it is impossible to interpret Jesus as violent. Violence is contrary to the Kingdom of God. It is an instrument of the Antichrist. Violence never serves man, but dehumanizes him.

Jesus shows his zeal for his Father’s house, the Pope observed, but it is “the zeal of love which pays in person, not that which seeks to serve God through violence.”

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  • Posted by: Justin8110 - Mar. 12, 2012 4:34 PM ET USA

    I just re-read the Holy Father's first "Jesus of Nazareth" book and he does an excellent job at dealing with this issue in that book. Well worth reading. It will certainly strengthen your faith in what the Church has always taught about who Jesus Christ is.

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